Day Trip to Îles de la Petite-Terre

As I mentioned in the last post, we liked the look of Îles de la Petite-Terre, but we can't overnight there. Instead, we decided to visit the islands for a day trip, and see what they were like.

We set off first thing in the morning, motoring out of the bay and picking up some light wind to sail up North, under full sails. The wind wasn't ideal for getting to Petite-Terre, almost directly upwind of us, it would take a few tacks to get there. So when we were close to the closest point we'd reach, on the first tack, we motored in.

The entrance to the anchorage in Petite-Terre is a narrow, shallow channel through breaking waves. Once inside you can't anchor, only take a (reserved) mooring ball. So, we anchored to the south of the islands, somewhat protected from the northern swell, but not the eastern current and wind.

John, Clare, and Doug took the dinghy round the island to try to enter the channel and do some snorkelling, but the waves were far too big to enter by dinghy. All they could see were masts sticking up above the backs of waves.


Instead we all snorkelled on the reef on the South side of the South island. This wasn't a lazy swim, the currents were strong, and we were sometimes in breaking waves, dodging sharp rocks. But, this was easily the best snorkelling we've done so far in Guadeloupe. The fish were big and plentiful: we saw some barracuda and a reef shark on the prowl. Being a protected marine park obviously makes a huge difference to the reef life.

After that, we had a lazy sail back to Anse de Mays on just the Genoa, averaging 4kts, until the wind totally died and we motored in the last few miles.

Time on the water: 6:58
Distance covered: 35.7nm
Avg speed: 5.1kts
Max speed: 9.7kts
Crew: John, Stefano, Clare, Doug

Navionics Track


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